High and Low

High and Low ★★★★

It’s brilliant movie-making, but an odd end result; like a weird cross between 1931’s M and 1996’s Ransom. Lots of suspense and some chills floating on a strong current of intrigue.

An ethical businessman throws his entire fortune away to ransom his chauffeur’s son who was accidentally kidnapped instead of his own. The police spare no effort to catch the criminal.

The middle 70 minutes of police legwork - though engaging - really calls attention to the 143 minute running time and could easily have been cut down to a reasonable 15 minutes.

Smart, interesting and loaded with ethical quandaries of life, responsibilities and social inequality. Though not Kurosawa’s best film, it’s still commanding Kurosawa story-telling.

Tim liked this review